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Bureau of Immigration deported record number of criminals in 2016

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported 135 foreign criminals last year, more than double the tally for 2015.

South Koreans were the biggest cohort with 80 crooks sent home, followed by 25 Chinese and 19 Americans. Also in the list were three Taiwanese, two Canadians, an Australian, a Japanese, a German, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi and a Kazakhstani.

Cybercrime was the biggest offence, with 60 cases, followed by 49 “economic crimes” and 12 sex offences.

Three were charged with murder while others were involved in smuggling, human trafficking, aggravated assault, drug pushing and desertion.

We recently reported how the BI has taken a tough new stance on “aliens”, with nearly 10,000 refused entry into the country last year (see report here) and a stern threats to any resident foreigner who doesn’t register (read more here).

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the number of foreign fugitives caught was more than double the 61 arrested in 2015.

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He said: “They were also placed in our blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the country.”

He also vowed that the BI would continue to “relentlessly pursue” its campaign against foreign fugitives, saying, “the Philippines should not be used as a sanctuary for foreign criminals who want to evade prosecution and punishment for crimes they committed in their homeland.”

BI intelligence officer Bobby Raquepo said 86 of the aliens were subjects of mission orders issued by Morente; 37 were issued deportation warrants by the Bureau’s Board of Commissioners; seven were intercepted at the airports; and five voluntarily surrendered.

The campaign against foreign wrong-doers is continuing into 2017 with the capture of two South Koreans wanted for “swindling”.

The two men are now detained at the BI detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa pending deportation to Korea.

Mr Morente said: “They are the latest casualties of our continuing campaign to rid our country of wanted foreign fugitives who come and hide here to evade prosecution and punishment for their crimes.”

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First to be arrested was Jung Jaeyul, aged 38, who was collared on January 26 in Las Piñas City.

Then, on February 1, Son Young Jo, 59, was arrested in Makati City.

BI spokesman Bobby Raquepo said both Jung and Sol were subjects of arrest warrants issued by Korean courts before they fled to the Philippines.

“They have also become undocumented aliens as they failed to renew their Korean passports which have already expired,” Mr Raquepo added.